A Mural by the Lopez Goldens
Dedicated December 14, 2014
The Alicia Treviño López portable mural “Reflection of Life” was created on a 15ft x 12ft canvas. The project, led by GO! Arts instructor and nationally recognized muralist Jane Madrigal, was developed and executed by a core group of 25 Goldens enrolled in Bihl Haus GO! Arts classes in spring and summer 2014. The concept for the mural was developed by intermediate painting students in the spring. Goldens were given a lesson on mural history and shown murals created during the Mexican Revolution through the Chicano mural movement to the present. Brainstorming sessions were held to develop the basic concept and design.
Over the summer, a three-hour weekly mural class was offered to take the concepts developed by the intermediate students and develop them into a full scale mural designed to highlight the surrounding District 6 neighborhoods and the activities held at the López Center. They began the process by taking a tour of local murals and landmarks. Mural participant Gloria E. noted: “I really enjoyed the mural tour. I loved all the colorful creations,” while Teresa G. “learned that my neighborhood has walking and bike trails. I also liked seeing the…murals in mom and pop stores.”
Goldens then interviewed their peers at the López Center to gather personal stories and background information about people attending the center. They also brought in pictures of friends and activities at the center. Together they laid out the mural design using the same concepts developed by the intermediate class. Once the mural design was complete and approved, they transferred their sketches to canvas. Painting began in late July and continued through October. The Center held a public unveiling in early December to which the entire Lopez community, 5000 strong, was invited along with City officials and the Press.
The project, funded in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, was a wonderful experience for all who participated. Goldens learned how to use art as a way to tell their personal stories. They feel empowered knowing that their life experiences matter and will be remembered through the creation of this mural. They also have a stronger sense of community within the López Center because mural making is a team effort to which everyone has something to offer–Tomasita N. noted that she “loved working together with others on this project.”